Milwaukee Neighborhood Guide: Bay View

17 places for relaxation, fun and sustenance in Bay View — all suggested by 17 Milwaukee residents.

Map of the Bay View 17 for ‘17

Historical Points of Interest

  • 1834: Horace Chase settles in area
  • 1836: Elijah and Zebiah Estes settle; Zebiah names village “Bay View”
  • 1855: First train depot for Lake Shore Railroad located in Bay View
  • 1862: Horace Chase serves as mayor of Milwaukee
  • 1868: The Milwaukee Iron Co. makes Bay View a company town
  • 1879: Village of Bay View incorporated; over 2,500 people live in Milwaukee’s first suburb
  • 1886: In what’s known as the Bay View Massacre, Wisconsin National Guardsmen kill seven workers, part of a crowd of 1,500 strikers calling for an 8-hour work day
  • 1887: Bay View annexed to the city of Milwaukee as the 17th ward
  • 1923: Bay View High School opens
  • 1948: First South Shore Water Frolic becomes Milwaukee’s first lakefront festival
  • 1977: The Dan Hoan Bridge opens
  • 1999: The Lake Parkway opens


→ Bay View Park

Where: 3120 S. Lake Dr.

“Enjoy terrific panoramic views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan from South Lake Drive at Bay View Park.” ~Paul Matzner

While the gray skies, snow-mottled sand and leafless trees might not look as picturesque in December, outdoor enthusiasts will continue to enjoy Bay View Park’s trails throughout the winter, whether walking, running, biking or cross-country skiing.

Photo by Dominic Inouye


→ Voyageur Book Shop

Where: 2212 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Cozy into this Kinnickinnic Avenue nook filled with compelling used books and resident literary cat, Bustopher Jones. ~Jessica Zalewski

Whether you’re looking for a contemporary work or a rare, first, signed edition, Voyageur’s growing collection of about 12,000 books has something for everyone. In a bit of whimsy, owners Blaine Wesselowski and Jeremy Mericle, who both previously worked at Renaissance Books, chose a Badger for their logo (“Seemed Wisconsiny,” says Wesselowski) in boots and the floppy, red hat of the French Canadian fur traders, or voyageurs.

Co-owner Blaine Wesselowski (Photo by Dominic Inouye)


→ Acme Records & Music Emporium

Where: 2341 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Acme Records is a home for the owner’s dog and many music-lovers from all walks of life. ~Paige Basil

The shelves at Acme, which has seen a nice five-year run so far, become works of art in themselves as glossy, sleeved album graphics perch on them, ready for your musical explorations. Visit with something in particular in mind — say, Brown Acid’s The Fifth Trip or The Chocolate Watch Band’s Inner Mystique — or explore the shelves and bins for something new.

Photo by Dominic Inouye


→ Delaware House

Where: 2499 S. Delaware Ave.

The best monthly dance deal in town: $10 for a lesson, open practice, refreshments and new friends. ~Erin Richards

Renovated and opened by owner Kathy Howell in 2007, Delaware House is at once the home of Howell’s physical therapy business Bodies in Motion and a host to other businesses — including yoga, skin care, massage and acupuncture — that rent the space but all work together holistically to serve Bay View wellness. And, once a month, as Richards attests, they offer a popular First Friday Salsa Social.

Photo by Dominic Inouye


→ Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant

Where: 2995 S. Clement Ave.

Dine ‘al fresco’ in warm summer months, enjoy rich pasta dishes and pizza in cold winter months. ~Karl Herschede

I’m told people come for the pizzas but that Tenuta’s is really upping its game with their pastas (which can be ordered gluten-free) and other homemade recipes inspired by Cesare and Antonio Tenuta’s southern Italian upbringing. This warm, inviting, white table-clothed corner restaurant would make a superb date night destination.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery

Where: 3216 S. Howell Ave.

Unique, cozy space, and live piano; you will understand the word ‘delicious’ by the time you leave. ~Kim Armann

The kitchen at Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery greets you immediately upon entering this breakfast-and-lunch establishment, whose name means “delicious” in Spanish. While you wait, peruse the art gallery, currently featuring Milwaukee photographer Timothy Abler’s black-and-white “A Salvatorian Monastery” series or, if you’re lucky, listen to co-owner Ruben Piirainen play the baby grand.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Goodkind

Where: 2457 S. Wentworth Ave.

Conveniently tucked away with an approachable atmosphere, Goodkind pairs unique libations and victuals that surprise and delight. ~Chris Willey

Willey notes that Goodkind is a rare find because it serves its full menu until 1 a.m. Operating on a residential corner like so many of Bay View’s best restaurants and sourced by dozens of local farms and suppliers, they offer  inspired creations like swordfish confit and steamed Maine mussels with octopus posillipo and an N’duja aioli.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Hot Head Fried Chicken & Crafty Cow

Where: 2671 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Crispy, tender chicken. Savory sauces on a toasted bun. Delicious sides and drinks to have with friends. ~Kaivahn Sarkaratpour

These two connected restaurants offer a similar aesthetic and even similar menu items, but Hot Head Fried Chicken’s specialty is in the name, and Crafty Cow specializes in craft beers and craft burgers. Hot Head features four styles of chicken, Southern-inspired sides and appetizers, elevated foie gras donuts and lighter fare like the Burrata Avocado. Crafty Cow offers 16 revolving tap lines, build-your-own burger options and over 12 signature burgers.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Three Brothers

Where: 2414 S St. Clair St.

The burek is the star of the show at Three Brothers (but make sure to bring cash!) ~Jessica Kaminski

The burek — a succulent, meat-filled filo dough pastry — is, among so many other Serbian favorites like musaka, sarma, goulash and baklava what makes Three Brothers a favorite of so many Milwaukeeans. Everything is made-to-order, so the wait can be long (and they only accept cash), but diners at this tiny but bustling place don’t seem to mind. And the James Beard Foundation doesn’t either (they named the restaurant an “American classic” in 2002); neither does local foodie Kyle Cherek, who recently named it one of “The Midwest’s 38 Essential Restaurants” in Eater Magazine.

This is a typical Thursday night! (Photo by Dominic Inouye)


→ At Random

Where: 2501 S. Delaware Ave.

Dimly lit with chalkware and fiber optic kitsch, At Random urges guests to contemplate the vibe while they imbibe. ~Carol Rice Kraco

The boxy white exterior belies the unique cocktail lounge that will take you back in time several decades (1964 to be exact), as will the mixed drinks, tiki bowls, and alcoholic ice cream drinks like the classic Grasshopper.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Victoria’s on Potter

Where: 1100 E. Potter Ave.

It’s a neighborhood bar in an area you wouldn’t think to look for a drink. Stop in! ~Craig Daemmrich

Yes, we’re headed into more dive bar territory with Victoria’s, this time sailing-themed. Patrons note the friendly, attentive (if not a bit snarky) staff and the various forms of beer-fueled entertainment, such as the life-sized Jenga, the jukebox and everyone’s favorite (only?) pound-the-nail game, Hammerschlagen.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Puddler’s Hall

Where: 2461 S. St. Clair St.

My first visit, every person acted as though they’d been waiting all day for me to arrive. ~Nick Berg

Nick adds: “And it’s been that way ever since. To me, Puddler’s feels more like a cozy rec room or clubhouse than a bar — a classic, old-school spot for relaxation and conversation.” The second floor of Puddler’s Hall — named after the workers at the nearby Milwaukee Iron Co. who stirred molten iron with rods, thereby making bar iron — once served as temporary housing for immigrant ironworkers.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ The Newport

Where: 939 E. Conway St.

“When sitting around the circular bar, it’s like you’re a member of the Coziest Corner Bar Club.” ~Molly Snyder

This is indeed a cozy bar, perched on a residential corner in the little valley formed by Kinnickinnic Avenue and Bay Street. The 1918 building has been owned for 12 years by Frank Creed and serves a friendly, regular crowd, mainly from the neighborhood.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ The Palm Tavern

Where: 2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Palm Tavern is one of my favorite hidden gems, known for delicious craft cocktails and imported beers. ~Rick Rodriguez

Inconspicuous from the outside and cozy and intimate on the inside like so many Bay View gems, The Palm features 25 tap beers, over a hundred bottled beer options and hundreds of whiskeys and bourbons. Draft Magazine named it “one of America’s best beer bars,” and patrons from far and wide seem to agree.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Sven’s European Cafe

Where: 2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

One of my favorite coffee places to bump into neighbors and see what’s new in the ‘View. ~Chris Larson

With its mismatched furniture and two rooms, one featuring a little fireplace, Sven’s offers coffee, bakery items and delicious sandwiches. Roasting since 1989, owner Steve Goretzko (originally from Berlin, Germany) helped pioneer Wisconsin’s fair trade and organic coffee obsession, roasting coffee “the old world way” with large-batch Probot and Gothot German roasters.

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Hi-Fi Cafe

Where: 2640 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Starlite restaurant mints meet espresso grounds & vanilla ice cream in a Starlite Shake at the Hi-Fi! ~Christina Oster

As a Seattle native who grew up in the ’80s, the Hi-Fi Cafe resonates with me. Something about its retro, primary-colored decor, the music and the layers of concert posters that suggest they have their fingers on the pulse of the hip and trendy perhaps? It’s also just a great place to relax with some coffee, maybe a sandwich and house tortilla chips, and do some grading for school (if I wasn’t at Sven’s way back when, I was at Hi-Fi).

Photo by Dominic Inouye

→ Pryor Avenue Iron Well

Where: 1710 E. Pryor Ave.

Memories. My daily routine leads me past the Pryor Avenue Iron Well to get my Groppi’s coffee. ~Nick Hansen

Finally, the Pryor Avenue Iron Well, so named because of its high iron content, has been serving up artesian water since 1882. The last remaining public well in the city, its two continuously pumping faucets still serve neighbors like Hansen and passersby, especially during hot summer days, which are, remember, only a short six months away.

Photo by Dominic Inouye